Thirty years ago, the Zolder mine closed its doors. This closure put a definitive end to coal production in Belgium. But the flavour of Lecocq Flavours still lingers.
The weekend edition of Het Belang van Limburg of 10/09/22 featured the beautiful story of Hilda Put who served the miners in the mine in Zolder with her delicious Hilda's Kriekske. That was milk from the then Lilac with a special, mysterious grenadine extract. Her life story is now the thread of theatre group Motus' play 'White Gold Black Dust'.

The miners of Zolder used to love Hilda's Kriekske. And the grenadine flavourings that gave it flavour came from the then Lecocq, now Lecocq Flavours. Or how Lecocq's grenadine flavourings provided a literally and figuratively beautiful taste in the mine.

'White Gold Black Dust' revolves around the stories at Hilda's milk bar in the then mine of Zolder. Hilda Put worked at the Zolder mine from 1966 to 1996 where she ran the milk bar. On the occasion of the theatre production 'White Gold Black Dust' by theatre group Motus of president/scenarist/director Inge Mariën, some retired miners were once again served the milk with a flavour of Hilda's Kriekske.

CEO Olivier Lecocq: "We gave the grenadine flavour of Hilda's Kriekske back to Hilda Put. We still had the recipes. It's great to hear how our flavourings have added flavour to the life of the mine in Zolder."

Lecocq Flavours produces various flavourings and extracts. The recipes are kept and preserved in complete confidence. The composition of the flavouring naturally remains secret.

Business Manager Eveline Sticker: "We have several varieties of grenadines, about 20 in fact. We also like the story and for us as flavourings and producers of the flavouring, it is quite an honour that we have also added flavour to the miners' lives (laughs). And we even ended up in a theatre play. A flavour with history, in other words."

Scenarist Inge Mariën: "Hilda was surprised when she tasted her recipe again with Lecocq Flavours' grenadine flavour. It tastes like ice cream, a very special delicious aroma. I'm sure when we relaunch the drink it will be a success. The faces of the many miners who once again drank Hilda Put's Kriekske literally brightened. That was complete nostalgia. Great memories always taste sweet."

More than 2,200 people attended Theatre Group Motus' performance 'White Gold, Black Dust'. Or how Lecocq Flavours revisited the rich history of the Limburg mines.

Philip De Hollogne


Lecocq Flavours Archive
Inge Mariën